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Blue Ribbon Foundation Supports Children’s Health

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
January 7, 2013
Seated in picture, in front L-R, are C.A.T.C.H. participants Endyia Tullis and Gabrielle Smith. Standing L-R are Linda Reilly, wellness director, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA; Sierra Hines, C.A.T.C.H. participant; Jim Thomas, executive director, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA; Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director, The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Jon Hines, C.A.T.C.H. participant; and Liza Prokop, wellness coordinator, Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA.

Blue Ribbon Foundation Supports Children’s Health at the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA

Wilkes-Barre, PA – The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania recently approved a $9,710 grant for the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA’s Coordinated Approach To Child Health (C.A.T.C.H.) program.

The C.A.T.C.H. program is for at-risk elementary students in the Greater Wilkes-Barre area who have been referred to the program by school nurses and administrators, or by family physicians. The after school curriculum is a structured approach to children’s health, ensuring that at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity and weekly nutrition education sessions are provided over a 35-week period.

Thanks to funding from The Blue Ribbon Foundation, the YMCA is providing this program to 35 new students in the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013. The grant also enables the YMCA to arrange for special presentations as part of the C.A.T.C.H. program, and to provide transportation for children who may need it.

"This Blue Ribbon Foundation grant is allowing us to help more children in our community who are at-risk of developing health problems related to physical inactivity and poor nutrition," said Jim Thomas, executive director of the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA. "The lessons they learn through the C.A.T.C.H. program will benefit them for the rest of their lives."

About the Blue Ribbon Foundation of BCNEPA

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  During its first decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 170 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 186,000 at-risk individuals.